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Woman learns of son's death 9 hours later

Woman's son dies in foster care

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio mother wants to know why Child Protective Services took almost nine hours to inform her of the death of her 10-month-old son who was in foster care.

Monika Villarreal still has not seen her son, Jayden Matthew Villarreal, since learning of his death on Monday.

"They gave me no explanation on why I can't see him," she said.

Jayden, along with her five other children, were put in foster care by Child Protective Services in October after Jayden was found to have drugs in his system. 

Jayden had medical conditions but his mother said he was not in a medical foster home on Sunday when he was taken to North East Methodist Hospital after his foster mom found him unresponsive at home.  He was taken by ambulance to the hospital about 11:30 p.m. and passed away at 12:41 a.m. 

Villarreal did not learn of his death until 9 a.m. Monday.

"When I opened the door I saw two officers and I was like, 'This is serious,'" said Villarreal. "My caseworker asked me to sit down and she just told me, 'Jayden passed away.' They didn't call me from the hospital, they didn't let me go see him at the hospital."

A CPS spokesperson said they were first informed of Jayden's passing at 1:34 a.m., and the information reached a supervisor about 4 a.m. Attempts to reach Villarreal didn't begin until 8 a.m.

"They come out in the middle of the night to bother you. They come out in the middle of the night to take your children away," said Villarreal. "I don't know why they wouldn't have done it to let me know about my son."

Villarreal spent most of Tuesday afternoon visiting various funeral homes to make arrangements for her son. Arrangements made more difficult because of the family's financial situation.

"We've had to go to three different funeral homes to try to find something that fits in that price range," she said.

She and her husband have a court date in August to win back custody of their five other children. But for now, her focus remains on Jayden and her questions surrounding his death.

"They can't answer why my son's not here anymore," she said. "I want to know why wasn't I told sooner? Why couldn't I have been there?"

Donations for funeral costs can be made in Jayden's name by calling a Wells Fargo branch. The family is still working on funeral arrangements.


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